Friday, June 24, 2016

Out of the Box: Wellie Wishers Ashlyn

Less than 24 hours after commenting on my own (and other) blogs that I was on the fence about the new 14" doll line from American Girl I found myself back in the store picking one up (if my auto service place was in a different location this would never have happened).  It was a moment of weakness, I suppose!

The Wellie Wishers are aimed at a slightly younger target market than the standard American Girl line, and as such are smaller, fully vinyl, and lower priced. I picked up Ashlyn, who has brown  eyes and hair (with bangs/fringe) and the medium skin tone.  Other than the hair/eye/skin options, all of the dolls have the same body (I'm not sure about the face moulds - there may be three of them? I don't have a great eye for that, so if you know for sure, please correct me!).



The boxes have a similar design to those of the full size AG dolls: The top and bottom are two separate pieces that slide apart (allowing the box to be reused), with a see-through plastic window that allows you to see the doll's face.
In the box.
Inside, the doll is attached with a tie at the neck and two rubber bands at the feet, so she's easily removed (and returned if you needed to store her).
The inner layer.
Unlike the larger dolls, these ones don't include a book or activity set, but they do have one accessory (Ashlyn came with a plastic tiara, other dolls have different items), and a pamphlet promoting the line.
The front of the booklet.
Inside the booklet (this side is in English - the reverse side has
a shorter version of it in Spanish and French).
Free from the box, I was surprised by how lightweight Ashlyn is: I had expected something heavier.
Free from the box.
I think the high point of the doll is her face: she has wonderfully bright eyes, a cute facial sculpt and appealing paint (the freckles are a nice touch). The hair is soft and seems to be decent quality, although I found it to be a little static-y.
A better view of her freckles (and crown).
.
Back view.

On the negative side, her jointing if fairly limited. She stands well, but her arms and legs can only swing and her head can spin but not tilt.  That's certainly not the end of the world, but her head seems to be set slightly forward, so without tilting ability she always looks slightly hunched forward.
With her hands in the air.
The Wellingtons are decent quality and seems to be of a material that will hold up well to play (and if your kid wants to match, they sell them in children's sizes as well). The outfit I was less impressed by: it's decent, but I didn't think it was significantly better than Heart for Heart's clothes, which is a little disappointing at this price point (at $60 USD, these dolls are twice the price of those).

While we're on the topic of Hearts for Hearts, the dolls are very close in both size and style (as well as construction).
Compared to Hearts for Hearts Surjan.
While the H4H line is a slightly different shape (they're slightly slimmer), the differences are minimal.

Undressed, the slight size difference is more obvious.
That size difference isn't enough to prevent clothes sharing though:
Ashlyn in Surjan's dress and Surjan in Ashlyn's t-shirt and skirt.
As for other doll lines, I'm still working on a Paola Reina Las Amigas post, so that will go up next week, but so far I haven't found too many others who would be clothing compatible.
There's a significant size difference compared to
the standard American Girl dolls.
Compared to Sasha Caleb and Volks SDC Miko - less of
a size gap than the AGs, but enough of a difference
that very few items will be able to cross over.

To recap, I think this line gets top marks for cuteness and for age appropriateness for the 5-7 set.  Where they lose points, at least for me, is the lack of differentiation between lower priced equivalent lines.  If they were priced in the $45-50 USD range, I'd say they were well worth paying full price for, but at $60 they strike me as being a bit over-priced for what they are.  Still, I really like the face and I'm not disappointed that I picked this one up - and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more owner photos over time!

A parting glance.

ETA: Photo comparisons to Corolle and Paola Reina dolls in the same size range are now posted as part of my Les Chéries review.









32 comments:

  1. I think they're cute looking, I like their legs which is how I am with the AG dolls, I like their leg shape too, but like you I'm not sure of the price, it does seem quite a lot for a doll that looks remarkably like the H2H and the Paola Reina too for that matter.
    x

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    1. Heh, you know I've never really focused on the legs, but now that you mention it, they do have a certain uniqueness, don't they? I'm going to pay more attention to that in the future! ;)

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  2. Great review, but I agree with you about the price as well. I wonder if American Girl is counting on their cache to sell these dolls.

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    1. Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the higher price is purely about paying for the AG name. Although to be fair they do have wigged hair versus H4H's rooted hair (I still won't say that alone makes them worth twice as much though).

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  3. Thanks for the review! I dreamed about the Wellie Wishers all last night!

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    1. Hopefully a fun dream - wouldn't want them to be haunting your nightmares! Although that might make for a fun photo-story. ;)

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  4. Well, well, well, look at this cutie-pie! That was sort of a pun, albeit a bad one. ^_^ She looks quite huggable.

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    1. Huggable is a good description! And I think she has the look of someone who would enjoy a good/bad pun! ;)

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  5. Very cute and happy little doll JS, I love her toothy smile!
    I enjoyed the review on this sweetie, I hope she brings you much joy.
    Hugs,
    X

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    1. Thanks! The teeth definitely give her a unique And cute) expression, don't they? :)

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  6. Lol, I'm cracking up that you ended up with one of these after not being sure whether you wanted one, just because I'm totally the same way. It's all that auto shop's fault. ;)

    However, I'm thrilled to see that the Wellie Wishers and Hearts for Hearts Girls are so compatible! :) I'm bummed that the Wellie Wishers' heads don't tilt, though. :(

    Great review!

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    1. Heh, I'm definitely eating my words of trepidation from yesterday, aren't I?

      I'm doing to some clothes-swapping today, and I think the Wellie Wishers may be able to fit into more cross-line clothing than I'd have guessed, so that's always great to see! :)

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    2. Awesome! :) Can't wait to see more.

      P.S. I'll do my best to make my review post just look like it's copying yours. ;) I was planning on doing some clothes swapping and comparisons myself. Hope you don't mind.

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    3. Mind? Not at all - The more comparisons the better! :)

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  7. jSarie,

    I enjoyed your review of AG's WellieWisher Ashlyn, particularly her comparison with Hearts 4 Hearts Surjan. It's amazing how close the two are alike, body-wise. I do like Ashlyn's body shape better, the more shapely legs in particular. Its unfortunate that the doll's neck movement is limited and the body is lightweight.

    I am a bit concerned about the price as well. I think $40 to $50 would have been more in line for the type doll and the target market. AG must expect their already established customer base of people who are already spending twice that amount on the 18-inch dolls to not be fazed by the $60 price of the WellieWishers. They might be hard pressed for non-AG folks to actually spend $60 on dolls for their children, however.

    dbg

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    1. Yeah, I suspect that the market is pre-existing AG buyers. Maybe they realized that with their line of baby dolls for toddlers and their regular 18" dolls for 8+ left them with a few extra years that they weren't marketing/selling to?

      There were two women (along with a group of girls who were probably in the 3-9 range who were carrying several AGs and a Bitty Baby) in the store with me yesterday who were commenting excitedly that they'd thought the Wellie Wishers would be $75. So they were thrilled, but also obviously not new customers in the bigger brand sense. I guess we'll see if that turns out to be enough of a market to keep this new line going!

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  8. Are they similar to the Journey dolls, at least I think that's what they are called. We don't get the AG dolls here, at least not in the regional cities where I live. The size comparison you posted was quite handy. Gives me an idea of the scale of these dolls.

    I do love her freckles and those wellington boot designs. I also think her skin colour is quite lovely. Shame about her limited articulation but I think that's mostly because I've been spoiled with bjds and FR dolls. She's a cute little doll though.

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    1. Yup, they have the same body construction as the Journey Girls, although they're a bit shorter (the Journey Girls are the same height as the AGs, I think).

      The articulation is one of those durability trade-offs, which is fair enough to, although I really do wish the heads could tilt more. But hey, can't have everything! :)

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  9. Hello! She looks adorable with her freckles.

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  10. I'm still on the fence about adding on but doesn't mean I will rule it out either, lol.

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    1. Heh, I know that feeling. Honestly with all the sales AG has been having over the past couple of years, I probably should have waited to buy her myself...

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  11. Almost missed this post. Thanks for comparing this doll to H2H. The line is cute but I have decide if I want another 14" doll that is so similar to H2H. But sometimes you just gotta have one right?

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    1. Yup, and sometimes even more than one! ;)

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  12. I did a double take when I saw this post because I was thinking, "Didn't she *just* say she was undecided about which if any of these dolls to buy?" LOL Oh, how I can relate to that. Well, Ashlyn is adorable. Her bright eyes and freckles are just darling, plus I'm a sucker for bangs. I'm undecided myself about getting one or two for my girls. They're cute, but I think maybe $15-$20 overpriced. I think my oldest (now 8) would probably prefer an AG, especially since there's an AG club that meets one afternoon a week at her school. And my youngest (3 1/2) is far too fond of her Bitty Baby to entertain other dolls. They just end up neglected.

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    1. Heh, what can I say, I was weak when it came to spending more time thinking about this decision!

      Maybe in a year or so they'll be more your youngest's thing? With the added benefit that they may go on sale in the meantime! ;)

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  13. Agreeing with many above...Charming dolls...but $60??? Like their hair(I own all but one Wellie)...but I do not like the plastic torso.Not sure how durable it would be. In a most respects Hearts for Hearts dolls a much better buy at $40 us dollars.

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  14. Agreeing with many above...Charming dolls...but $60??? Like their hair(I own all but one Wellie)...but I do not like the plastic torso.Not sure how durable it would be. In a most respects Hearts for Hearts dolls a much better buy at $40 us dollars.

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  15. We have five granddaughters, two are 4 years old, a five and six year old and a 14 year old that loves to be the "mama" of the others. I was trying to figure out what to get the girls for Christmas. I looked into the American Girl dolls but I almost had a heart attack at the price tag of $120. Then I found out about the wellie wishers and I was so excited that I bought the whole set of 5 dolls. I had planned on getting a set of pajamas and one other outfit for each doll but again with the heart attack because of the cost of $20 for the pajamas and $25 for an outfit. Nevermind about the matching outfits for the granddaughters-outrageous! My plan is to keep the set of dolls at my house for them to play with when we have them over for sleepover night every Saturday. I wanted to by the play house but that costs a heart attack and a stroke at $250.00. Grandpa is handy and will make them one for much less!

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  16. I don't know how I missed this post, but glad I found it this evening...I still can't decided whether or not to get one of these dolls...the one you have reviewed is on my 'short list' so thank you :-) Of course if I could get one for $60 here, I would think that was a great price! ;-)

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  17. Thanks so much for your post! I'm curious how closely interchangeable the shoes are between the heart for heart and wellie wishers...

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